One week in New York City. A chance to getaway from everything, yet still feel like we were in the middle of it all. Fall was all around, the election provided much commentary and images to remember, connected with long time friends… All in all, it was a trip that was much needed.
Empire State Building in red, white & blue
One of the reasons for our trip was that Roger was running in the New York Marathon. He finished in less than four hours keeping within 10 minutes of his previous times from 2004 and 2005. I got a chance to see the marathon from several locations, taking the subway to at least four spots on the route. At mile 19, Roger played with his old band, Squirrels from Hell. I might get a chance to post the video footage of Roger playing with them on the Marathon route, once Roger posts it on YouTube (I still haven’t figured that one out).
On election night, we wanted to go to this free event that featured a live, play-by-play of the results from editors of the Onion (including comedians from Flight of the Conchords), but it turns out that we had to RSVP way earlier to get in. So we decided that it would be a good night to see a show on Broadway. We went down to TKTS in Times Square to check out the listings of half price shows available. The square was starting to fill which surprised us a bit… not really thinking that people would stand around for hours to watch the results roll in rather than sitting at home or in a bar.
We decided to see Monty Python’s Spamalot featuring Clay Aiken, who was off that night. I guess he was probably in Chicago with every other celeb. The performance was pretty good, highlighting pieces of Mothy Python and the Holy Grail. Not your typical Broadway show. They actually weaved some of the election results into the performance. Hilarious.
By the time we got out of there, Times Square was packed. I don’t think the police were really expecting that big of a turn out. Since the Western states results were due in about 45 minutes, we decided to stay for entertainment value and to be able to stay that we were there at that historic moment. The crowd was insane. New York is a huge Obama town… I pity the McCain fans who must have been frightened for their lives. When the results were announced, there were people crying, dancing and screaming with joy. As we walked back to the hotel, it seemed as though every New Yorker wanted to give someone a hug, even random strangers.
In Times Square on Election Night
I don’t think I have ever seen this much merch for a president in my entire life. Vendors for Obama were everywhere. You could buy McCain or Obama condoms (I didn’t really look to see the difference) or a hats with Obama’s name across the brim. Roger’s favorite was a button he saw this guy wearing on the subway that read, “Vote for Obama because he’s black.” I was so close to buying an Obama “Hope” t-shirt but decided that it was kind of odd to have a t-shirt that has the president on it. Not to knock on those who do own one.
Obama sign outside a coffee shop
Roger and I walked around Manhattan for miles each day, spending one of our days walking through Central Park looking at the beautiful fall colors. Another day, we walked halfway across the Brooklyn Bridge taking in the sights. Other days, much of the running around was actually visiting friends in Manhattan, Brooklyn and even New Jersey. It was a great opportunity for me to meet some of Roger’s long time friends that I had only heard about.
We didn’t really get out to see any music, since CMJ just ended and there were no good shows that week, but we did keep busy. One night we went to see amateur comedians perform at Caroline’s, a let down performance-wise but I am glad to have seen the venue. Another night we went to this fantastic Venezuelan restaurant, El Cocotero in Chelsea. Highly recommended not only by us but also a bunch of Yelpers.
One night we decided to just hang out at the bar at Sardi’s Restaurant in the Theatre District. This is the restaurant that is featured in Muppets Take Manhattan with all of the drawings of famous people who have hung out there. Apparently a big celebrity hot spot. We just wanted a quiet place for a drink. This was the perfect spot, aside for the high priced drinks. No spottings for us but the locals and the bar staff were super friendly and chatty.
So glad to be back, but sad to be returning to work on Monday. Blah.